A northwest Colombian environmental activist was attacked on Monday after he had criticized the local mayor.
Fernando Jaramillo, coordinator of the Environmental Round-table of the town of Jerico in southwest Antioquia had earlier published an article criticizing mayor David Toro on several counts, but particularly his support for mining.
Jaramillo told local radio that one of the attackers was the driver of the mayor.
On December 1. Jaramillo published an article in the independent local newspaper Despierta Jerico, presenting a list of six questions for Toro.
These included the demand to explain why he had made agreements with the mining company over the handling of local water sources, having “publicly promised not to make inter-administrative agreements with the mining company of Quebradona.”
The next day Toro used the Voz del Suroeste radio station to denounce the “aggressive” and “offensive” article, and to say that Jaramillo “always wears a white shirt but it’s like a uniform; he appears to be a member of an organization, which I don’t know.”
Jaramillo said that on December 7, Alberto Sanchez, official driver to the mayor, attacked his house and delivered a death threat.
Then at midnight of the 8 December Sanchez’ son Daniel tried to attack him with a companion but Jaramillo escaped into his house. The two attackers then partially destroyed the door.
Jerico is a town of around 15,000 people, 120 km southwest of Medellin, in which multinational mining company Anglo Gold Ashanti is exploring reserves of gold in its Quebradona project.
- Así “responde” el Alcalde de Jericó a las preguntas de la comunidad (Despierta Jerico)
- Interview with Fernando Jaramillo